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Friday, April 9, 2010

Jack of Diamonds

What do you think of when you hear the word "accessories"? If you are a lady, maybe hats, scarves, handbags, and belts come to mind. For the men, it might be ties, suspenders, hats, or handkerchiefs. The items mentioned above are usually associated with clothing. They are the things that add the finishing touches to your wardrobe selections. There are also jewelry accessories. Examples include earrings, necklaces, brooches, watches, cuff links, bracelets, and rings. This week, the Jack of Diamonds will serve as our jewelry box that will house some of the hidden accessories, or skills, that we may need to use more often.

Earrings come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are large hoops, small hoops, dangling designs, studs, and other variations. Since we are talking about ear ornaments , let's examine how they may represent different listening styles. Hoops are circles. That is a perfect shape to represent communication because it should not be one way. We should strive for continuous and interactive communication in our relationships. One way to accomplish this is by listening attentively and asking questions when you need to clarify something that was said. This will enable you to accurately convey what was said to the next person in the circle. The dangling earrings are visually appealing but can sometimes be noisy and distracting. If you are listening to someone in a dangling way, you may not be giving them your full attention. That is not considerate. You would not want someone to listen to you that way. If you have too much going on, let the person know that you will be able to listen better at a later time. Sometimes, you need to pause at that moment to listen to what is being said and let something else dangle for a minute. Studs tend to be smaller, but they are often more valuable than the larger pieces. Diamond or pearl studs may be reserved for special occasions. When you see them, you take notice. For the listening analogy, they represent the key points being communicated. Some people ramble when they talk to you. They have a lot of fluff around the central message. If you practice "stud" listening, you can separate the filler material from the essential components that comprise the core of what is being said. Choose your earrings, or listening tactics, carefully to fit each conversation.

When you go into the jewelry box for a necklace, you are reaching for a rope to encircle your vocal cords, or speech. Ropes can be used for jumping and having fun. If you are rock climbing, the rope is a safety mechanism to keep you from falling. For practical purposes, a rope may bind loose items or be used to attach items for towing. I know that we don't think about all of that when choosing which necklace to wear. We just want it to match our earrings, handbag, or shoes. But let's consider how necklaces fit into the speech analogy that was mentioned earlier. Fun necklaces, or jump ropes, are the ones with the big colorful stones, odd shapes, or unusual materials. You might find them at craft fairs or flea markets where artists display their works. These types of necklaces are comparable to a motivational speech. They remind you to use your voice to encourage and uplift others. Let them know that you recognize and celebrate their individuality and creativity. If you want a safer choice for a necklace, you might choose a string of pearls. You really cannot go wrong with that selection. Pearls represent your words of comfort and compassion. Sometimes people just need to be told that you care about them. They don't want you to try to solve their problem or chastise them. Keep the conversation light and positive. There are times when a choker will be the appropriate choice. They are usually tight and can be restrictive. Be sensitive enough to know when less is more where your words are concerned. Lockets or charm necklaces are symbolic of the ropes that are used for transport. There is often a story behind the pictures in a locket or the charms displayed on a chain. These conversation pieces can build a bridge between you and others allow them to go on a journey with you based on the answers to the questions asked about the photos or trinkets.

Brooches are pins that may be worn near your heart. Use them to help express the feelings and emotions associated with different environments and scenarios. You may wear a certain pin to work, but another one on a shopping spree. While some brooches may be appropriate for church, you may choose other ones for nights out on the town. They can serve as a reminder that your behavior will vary dependent upon who are interacting with and where you are going. Watches, bracelets, and cuff links are in contact with your wrist. They are connected with the pulse, or pace, of what you are doing and where you are going. Lastly, the rings on your fingers impact the impression you make as you interact with others. Are you able to greet them with a firm handshake that denotes strength and confidence? The number and position of your rings will determine what someone else will feel when they shake or hold your hand. The rings go on your fingers which also have nails for defense and prints for identity. They are there to remind you to protect the essence of who you are and be careful of the image you project.

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